I would like to take this opportunity as your Commodore to put a challenge out to the members of the Gilford Park Yacht Club. After reading below If you are already on board that’s great, don’t stop, if not, consider coming aboard.
We take a lot for granted the planet we call earth and its natural resources; clean air, fresh water to drink, fertile land to grow our crops and our oceans. All the above are affected by man and only man can make a change.
Members of the Gilford Park Yacht Club depend on all of the above for their existence, one that is mostly taken for granted is our back-bays and our oceans. The Gilford Park Yacht Club uses the ocean and the back-Bay waters to swim in, to fish and crab in, for boating and that view from our building again is spectacular, it is spectacular until we see “oh look there is a plastic milk carton floating by, a plastic bag, oh look there is several cigarette butts floating by”. We use these waters let’s not abuse them. Don’t let this problem become an eye sore to our view and the club’s way of life.
Back in the day dumping garbage in our oceans was the norm and now it is coming back to haunt us and invade our beaches. Plastic also enters the ocean and our back-bays through natural disasters like Super Storm Sandy. I believe it was a thousand times worse back then, as it is now, but still a problem. Some of the plastic that we see in the back-bay’s ends up trapped with nowhere to go and somewhere along the line will end up either killing wildlife, wrapped around our props, clogging our water intakes, tangled up in our crab traps, end up on our back-bay beaches.
I believe we are all conscientious in the recycling of our plastics but for some reason all does not end up at the recycling center, it ends up on the ground where rain washes it into the rivers that carry it to the ocean. Like in the phrase if you see something say something, I also believe it applies to if you see it and it’s safe to pick it up both on land and on the water do so.
The Gilford Park Yacht Club can do their part by the policing of ourselves on land and in our local waters and on our beaches. We can clean up our little corner of the world but there is a bigger problem that exists. For years the problem has been ignored and now we are playing catch up.
www.4ocean.com -- 4ocean “is a global movement actively removing trash from the ocean and coastlines, inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans, one pound at a time”. If you have time check it out.
I am not advocating anyone to join or commit money to any local or global organization but just too make a commitment to yourself and as a club member to be aware of this problem. We are the starting point for all plastics therefore it puts us on the front lines of this problem and therefore we should do everything we can to keep plastics and garbage from entering our waters. We need to stop kicking the plastic bottle down the road expecting someone else to pick it up or making it someone else’s problem. It’s here and now. If you can kick it, it can be pick it up. Remember we want to keep that view spectacular.
Plastic has made our lives easier, but as always where there is good there is always the opposite bad.
Vanessa Heinzman is the current Commodore of the Gilford Park Yacht Club.